How to Authenticate a Goyard Bag and Spot a Fake
The iconic French brand, Goyard, has become a staple in the luxury handbag game. Purposefully understated, the recognizable Goyard tote is oftentimes the leading contender against the market favourite Louis Vuitton Neverfull.
The proudly, privately owned company is notorious for being even more exclusive than its competitors. The brand’s limited number of boutiques helps Goyard bags and other goods retain their high value on the resale market.
Due to the fact that it performs well on the resale market, it is difficult to purchase directly from a Goyard supplier, and the simple nature of their most popular style–the St. Louis shopper tote–it’s no surprise that this model of bag is often replicated in the counterfeit market. This is why it is so important to shop through trusted resale retailers like Lux Second Chance. Authenticity is our obsession, which is why we love talking about authenticating your favorite luxury brands! So let’s dive into this month's star: Goyard!
The Goyardine Print
We believe it makes sense to start off with the most evident examples of spotting a fake versus the real deal. The chevron Goyardine print is THE signature feature of the Goyard brand and is present on every single one of their styles. The trademark dot design and letters within the print should appear crisp and clear. Fake patterns and letters won’t be as crisp and may appear a little sloppier.
Due to the hand-screened nature of the authentic design, the print on the fabric of a real Goyard should feel slightly raised as you should be able to feel the individual bumps of each dot. This is due to the fact that the print has been printed three times, with three different layers on top of each other, creating somewhat of a 3D effect. Oftentimes a fake Goyard will be a printed design straight on the fabric itself, making the print appear flatter and two-dimensional.
Whether it’s a full handbag or even a card holder, oftentimes the most distinguishing factor of identifying a fake when compared to the real deal, is the vibrancy of the colour (or lack thereof). Counterfeit bags appear more dull, less vibrant, and less sharp than a real Goyard. In addition, on a fake Goyard, the parts of the pattern and letters that should be gold appear brown along with other less vibrant signifiers.
On the side seam of the St. Louis Tote, the print of the fabric should be continuous even through the side seam. Meaning, the side seam on the side of the bag does not interrupt the continuation of the pattern. On fakes, the pattern is not seamless where the front and back of the bag meet at the side seam.
On all St. Louis totes, the stitching thread colour is always contrasting, with the exception of black bags, which will have black stitching. Stitching on the seams and handles of the bags should be subtle and not deep set.
Heat stamping is one of the main things that distinguishes genuine luxury from fakes. On the inside of the pouchette of the St. Louis tote, the heat stamping is very discreet and uniform. Authentic Goyard heat stamping should only include three things: Goyard, Paris, Made in France (in that order and on three separate lines). On a fake, the heat stamping on the inside of the pouchette is very deep and the words could appear as varying sizes on each line.
The silver hardware button on the top of the pouchette should have the Goyard “G” on it, sitting straight on the flap. Some fakes will have this as well, but it may not appear straight. Depending on the type of bag, if a zipper is present, it should also be in silver hardware with the capital G, the same way it appears on the front button of the pouchette.
The Serial Number
All authentic Goyard leather goods should have a serial number present on it. Depending on the year and model of the style, the location of the serial number varies. On the older versions of the St. Louis totes, the serial number appears on the inside of the pouchette. On later models, a real St. Louis tote will have a serial number embossed where the leather strap connects the detachable pouch (pouchette) to the purse. On a Goyard card holder/wallet, the serial number is listed on the inside side seam in the front pocket.
The serial number should consist of three letters and six digits.
The font of the serial number should be san serif and quite discreet, clear, and consistent.
Size and Weight
A lot of times, counterfeiters will use pictures as a reference for their knock-off designs instead of the real deal, which means their dimensions and ratios are sometimes off. You can see examples of this if you are comparing an authentic card holder beside a fake, or an authentic pochette bag beside a fake. The sizes will vary compared to the real deal. Even something as subtle as the dimensions can automatically make something look cheaper.
This is also true for the weight of a product. Sometimes people associate heavier to mean better quality. This is not the case for the St. Louis tote. An authentic St. Louis tote will feel lighter than a fake, even though you can tell the fabric is a higher quality.
The lining of the St. Louis tote is a high-quality cotton twill. Many bags feature a striking mustard yellow colour in the lining. This lining colour is considered a Goyard signature for bag linings.
On something like a card holder or wallet, an authentic product would be lined in a pebbled leather (see pictured). A fake Goyard card holder is likely lined in a cheaper silk imitation fabric. Similarly, the leather used on the straps of an authentic Goyard is a pebbled or grained leather as opposed to a smooth leather, which you will see on fake Goyards.
We’ve saved this section for last as it is very dependent on the previous owner of the product, if you are purchasing from the resale market.
An authentic Goyard, if still maintained properly and kept together, should come with a yellow dust bag, yellow cloth (in place of a dust bag for card holders), the Goyard book, and tag.
As previously mentioned, dust bags for St. Louis Totes are yellow and will display the same Goyard logo and font that you see on the heat stamp. Of course, if the product comes with all or some of these additional elements, it not only gives you more opportunity to verify the authenticity, but it also holds better resale value in the secondary market.
And there you have it! With these subtle, yet distinguishable elements you can feel rest assured that you’ve made an authentic purchase. However, if you’re shopping at Lux Second Chance, we’ve already done the work for you!
- Luxury Promise, “How to authenticate Goyard bags featuring the St Louis PM bag”, YouTube video, 7:07. May 6, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wAU442Gotg
- Mitchell Wiggs, “GOYARD: Real vs. Fake - How To Authenticate 🕵🏼”, YouTube video, 6:09, March 26, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8IZUf8i9oo
- Desy_ho, “FAKE VS REAL GOYARD ST LOUIS PM SIZE”, YouTube video, 6:52. June 6, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyypnxneLQ4
- Sally Painter, “ Simple Ways to Identify a Fake Goyard Bag”, Love to Know. https://handbags.lovetoknow.com/designer-handbags/simple-ways-identify-fake-goyard-bag